North Carolina’s Economy Benefits from Engineering
Engineering was long important in the region that became known as “Carolana” and later called North Carolina. The natives built earthwork mounds used for cooking as well as religious purposes there around 200 BCE. North Carolina was home to America’s first English colony. Using basic engineering principles and techniques they built homes and businesses and ports to land ships among the region’s dangerous shoals. Engineers helped to put key infrastructure in place as the settlements in North Carolina prospered. By the end of the Civil War, North Carolina was quite industrialized with thriving furniture and textile industries and a booming tobacco trade.
Today, engineers and engineering continues to help the economy of North Carolina to flourish and grow. North Carolina is now a major center for agriculture, textile and furniture manufacturing, electrical equipment and chemicals. Engineering systems and technology have also helped to make North Carolina the nation’s second-largest banking and financial services center and a leader in software development and cutting-edge automotive technology.
The Value of Engineering to North Carolina’s Economy
Engineering plays a valuable role in their burgeoning economy of North Carolina. Even though the state’s economy is very diverse, all of the major segments of it benefit for engineers and engineering. Engineers have helped the state become a national leader in banking and financial services, agriculture, manufacturing, computer, biotechnology, IT, electrical and automotive technology, textile and furniture production. These diverse economic sectors employ a large number of electrical, computer software, mechanical, architectural, agricultural and environmental engineers.
Home to Many Leading Companies
In North Carolina engineers play valuable roles in well-known companies like Bank of America, SAS Institute, CaptiveAire Systems, Truist Financial and many other Fortune 500 companies. Plus, since the 1950s engineers working at federal agencies and more than 170 companies in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park in Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh, have created the country’s oldest and largest continuously operating science and research park. The engineers there have made significant and valuable contributions to North Carolina’s information and biotechnology industries.
Annual State Revenue/GDP
North Carolina’s real GDP for 2018 was $496.11 billion and it’s per capita real GDP was $47,896. The state’s growing annual revenue comes from its diverse economic sectors. The manufacturing sector generates almost $100 billion annually, finance, insurance and real estate contributes almost $90 billion and $65 billion comes from professional and business services. Government enterprises generates about $64 billion annually. Plus, healthcare and educational services adds over $41 billion while wholesale and retail trade brings in almost $60 billion a year.
Other Great Sources of Revenue
Other valuable revenue sources for North Carolina’s economy includes over $21 billion from Information Technology systems and $17.6 billion from arts, entertainment, recreation, food services and accommodations. The construction industry contributes about $16.6 billion annually, transportation and warehousing revenues top $11.4 billion and utilities generate almost $7.8 billion. North Carolina’s annual revenue from agriculture, forestry, hunting and fishing was $5.5 billion and the state got $610.61 million from its oil and gas extraction, mining and quarrying industries.
The Number of Engineering Jobs in North Carolina
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate there are more than 53,280 engineering jobs in North Carolina working for both local, state and federal government and private industry. One of the country’s leaders in engineering and technology positions, North Carolina has thousands aerospace, agricultural, architectural, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, design, mechanical, R&D, renewable energy, structural and traffic engineers. They hold key positions at companies like Amazon Web Services, Verizon, Hendricks Motorsports, UnitedHealth Group, Pfizer and Apple Systems.
Engineers bring technological expertise that allows manufacturing facilities to compete in North Carolina. This video highlights the contributions the engineering profession makes at a sterile drug product development and manufacturing plant.
Engineer Salaries in North Carolina
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics figures show the average annual salary earned by an engineer in North Carolina is $69,510. That includes biomedical engineers earning about $89,780 a year, Apple Systems engineers paid between $69,000 and $99,000 annually and structural engineers with salaries from $83,000 to $120,000 annually. In North Carolina process development engineers’ salaries are often between $69,000 and $96,000 a year, while the yearly pay for biomedical research engineers is between $56,000 and $77,000. Design engineers in the Tar Heel State earn between $76,000 and $94,000 a year, simulation engineers can get $78,000 to $100,000, while aerospace engineers make between $86,000 and $110,000 annually.
Type of Engineering Work in North Carolina
The types of engineering position available in North Carolina can vary widely. Each year companies hire structural engineers, landscape architects, biomedical engineers, research and development engineers, trainee, junior and senior mechanical engineers, junior design engineers and chemical and electrical engineers with all levels of experience. There are also many people in North Carolina employed as process engineers, production engineers, traffic engineers, aerospace engineer interns, data loss protection engineers, sound engineers and certified penetration testing engineers. Companies in North Carolina also hire all levels of data engineers, composite design engineers, network engineers and sourcing engineers.
North Carolina Engineering Colleges and Universities
Colleges in North Carolina have been teaching courses in engineering since at least the 1880s. Today there are more than 90 engineering schools in the state that educate thousands of engineers every year. North Carolina’s top 10 colleges where students can earn certificates and degrees in engineering are:
- Duke University
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- North Carolina State University at Raleigh
- Elon University
- University of North Carolina at Charlotte
- North Carolina A & T State University
- Appalachian State University
- East Carolina University
- Davidson College
- Western Carolina University
Engineering in North Carolina
One of the country’s oldest states, North Carolina is also a national leader in engineering and technology. It’s diverse economic sectors, rich history and complex cultural legacy makes North Carolina’s quaint, small towns and vibrant major cities a magnet for Fortune 500 companies, talented engineers, highly-skilled individuals, curious tourists and families looking to enjoy an excellent quality of life. They have moved to cities like Raleigh, Durham, High Point, Greensboro and Winston-Salem in recent years and helped North Carolina’s economy to diversify and flourish even more.
Are You a North Carolina Professional Engineer
If you’re a North Carolina professional engineer, you may be interested in an article we recently posted. It summarizes all of the requirements for renewing your engineering license in North Carolina. It includes links to the forms you need to submit, the date your renewal is due, fees, and much more.
We prepared a group of continuing education packages for North Carolina engineers. We created packages for chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, geotechnical, mechanical, and structural engineers that are guaranteed to meet the board’s requirements.